Organic Market Report 2009

Prepared for the Soil Association by Martin Cottingham and Amy Leech

After an absence of a year  this invaluable report has re-appeared and is now available on the Soil Association website (download the full report at Except where noted it covers the calendar year 2008.

Here is the Executive Summary:

  •       UK sales of organic products increased overall by 1.7% in 2008 to over £2.1 billion, growing strongly in the first six to nine months and then falling back in the face of the economic downturn in late 2008 and early 2009
  •       Sales through multiple retailers increased by 1.8% to £1.54 billion; sales through independent retailers are up 1.4% to £568 million
  •       Ninety per cent of UK households buy organic products
  •       Dairy products account for 29.5% of spending; fresh fruit and vegetables for 26.2%; red meat and poultry for 8.9%; beverages for 8.6%
  •       Sales of organic cotton increased by 40%; total UK sale of organic clothing and textiles reached £100million
  •       Sales of organic health and beauty products increased by 69% to £27million
  •       Global sales of organic food and drink reached an estimated £23billion by the end of 2007 – an annual increase of 7%
  •       Organic production accounts for 0.65% of global agricultural land. Organic farming is practised in more than 140 countries on over 1.2 million farms
  •       The amount of land managed to organic standards in the UK increased by 10% in 2007 to 676,387 hectares (ha). Organic farmland accounts for 3.9% of the UK’s agricultural land area